Hemorrhoids, commonly called piles are a condition in which the veins around the anal region and inside the rectum enlarge.1 They can be unpleasant and painful but surely are treatable. Hemorrhoids in adults are common but have you ever thought even babies can get it. This article deals with hemorrhoids in children.
Cause of Hemorrhoids in Children
Hemorrhoids occur due to the increased pressure around the anus, with constipation being the major cause. Some of the other common causes of hemorrhoids in children include:
- Sitting on a hard surface for a long period of time.
- If the child sits on the pot for an extended period of time i.e. more than 10 minutes, it can increase the risk of hemorrhoids in children. This habit leads to collection and stagnation of blood in the pelvic region.
- If the child tries hard to pass stool, it puts pressure on the anus and aggravates piles.
- Failure to follow a healthy diet regimen. Children often indulge in unhealthy food and drink very less water. This increases the chances of constipation and piles.
- If the parents have piles or there is a family history of piles, chances are high that the child may get it too.
- Inflammation of colon due to any reason might also become a reason for the development of the piles.
- Tumor in the colon can lead to stagnation of blood which can result in piles.
- A child with low physical activity also is at risk of developing piles.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids in Children
The commonest symptoms of hemorrhoids in children are:
- Rectal bleeding
- Itching in the anal region
- Discomfort in the anal region
- Piles protruding out of the anus
- A rupture of the blood vessel might lead to blood spot in the pot while passing stool
- Mucus like substance in the stool which keeps the region around anus moist. This can lead to itching sensation.
- Pain in the anus while passing stool, which makes a child avoid going to the bathroom.
While these are the commonly known symptoms of hemorrhoids in children, some may just experience discomfort when passing stools or pain around the lower abdomen due to constipation.
Diagnosis of Hemorrhoids in Children
The diagnosis of hemorrhoids in children mostly depends on the symptoms presented because of the illness. The doctor would examine the external area or may conduct an internal examination. Often, a proctoscope is used, which allows visualization of the anal canal and helps detect any abnormalities.
Treatment of Hemorrhoids in Children
The first thing you can do to start with the treatment of hemorrhoids is to try and eliminate its major cause i.e. constipation, for which it’s important to monitor what the child eats. Make a change in diet; include fiber-rich food, as it improves the bowel movement.
- Ensure that the child drinks plenty of water throughout the day. A well-hydrated body has a healthy digestive system.
- Warm bath twice in a day helps soothe the irritation in the area. Make sure the area is dry and never use soap to clean it.
- In case of extreme inflammation and irritation use an ice pack or a cold compress to soothe the area. This will bring in a much-needed relief.
- Make sure the anal region is cleaned with water. Use wet wipes as the dry tissue might irritate the sore anus and hemorrhoids.
- If the hemorrhoids are very painful you can give the child painkiller. This might reduce pain as well as soreness.
- Make sure the child goes to the bathroom the moment they get an urge as delaying it might harden the stool and make it difficult to pass.
Children are at risk of getting hemorrhoids and it is best to take the right preventive measures. Bring physical activity into the routine, making a change in the diet and a regular bowel habit can reduce the risk of hemorrhoids in children. Taking preventive measures would surely prevent the condition and keep the illness from disturbing the small wonders.